Amy Senser sent flowers to True Thai days before her attorney filed appeal

Categories: Crime, Law

amy senser mugs rect.jpg
Nearly six months after Senser was sentenced, her attorneys filed an appeal.
Almost a year and a half later, Amy Senser still mourns the death of Anousone Phanthavong. She just doesn't think she should be in prison because of it.

SEE ALSO:
-- Amy Senser had a drinking problem, affairs according to stepdaughter Brittani
-- Amy Senser letters of support reveal another side of Amy

-- Amy Senser's convictions upheld; she'll be sentenced, then appeal



Yesterday afternoon, defense lawyers Eric Nelson and Christina Zauhar formally appealed Senser's conviction for two counts of criminal vehicular homicide. Senser is currently serving a 41-month prison term at the state women's prison in Shakopee.

By and large, the appeal contains arguments Nelson has alluded to in previous court appearances and filings. The Star Tribune summarizes the appeal's "three areas of argument" as follows:

-- There wasn't enough evidence to support the convictions, specifically any proof that Senser had actual knowledge that the accident involved bodily injury or death of an individual.

-- The trial judge made legal mistakes.

-- The trial judge committed abuses of discretion that affected the jury's decision.

As we told you about last spring, the core of Nelson's criticism of Hennepin County Judge Daniel Mabley pertains to a letter jurors sent him just before Senser's verdict was read on May 3. That note, which wasn't read in court, said, "We believe, [Senser] believed she hit a car or vehicle and not a person." But a conviction for criminal vehicular homicide is supposed to require that the defendant knew the accident involved striking a person at the time it occurred or shortly thereafter. So the jury note suggests jurors were confused about the pertinent legal standard in Senser's case.

In the appeal, Nelson and Zauhar ask for Senser's conviction to be overturned. Barring that, they want a new trial in a courtroom outside the Twin Cities with a jury that will presumably better understand the law and a judge who will make sure jurors understand it before the verdict is read.

But while Senser's legal struggle unfolds, she continues to reach out to Phanthavong's friends and family and express remorse about the former True Thai chef's death. From the Pioneer Press:
After her conviction, she had Phanthavong's first name tattooed on her left wrist. Just before Christmas, she had orchids delivered to True Thai, where they were placed at a shrine the restaurant's owners have erected to Phanthavong.

A card with the flowers reads, "In remembrance of Anousone."

Whatever you think of "Amyworld," that's a classy gesture. Unfortunately, of course, it won't bring Anousone back. But was justice for his death served when Senser was tried, convicted, and sentenced to more than three years in prison last summer? Hennepin County prosecutors now have 45 days to respond to Nelson and Zauhar, after which it'll be up to the Minnesota Court of Appeals to decide.


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31 comments
Lisa Andrews
Lisa Andrews

The difference here between your accident and hers is you stopped. You didnt leave the scene, go home, pass out, dye your hair, donate the clothing you were wearing, call your brother, the police officer, a criminal lawyer and THEN call police. She is where she belongs.

corellcleef
corellcleef

Whatever makes all of you feel better about your own wretched lives. Soon all of you inbred maggots will  have to answer to your own demons, and they are legion!

Rob Parkos
Rob Parkos

I totally agree. Keep her locked up. My only point is I guess I get the tattoo thing because yes I do speak from experience... the driver that I killed was the drunk one tho.

Meg Nathan
Meg Nathan

@Rob Parkos - Sounds like you speak from experience...and it is true that sometimes even good people make mistakes and can learn and change because of them. The problem I have with this particular woman is the cold, calculating way she not only hid out so her alcohol levels couldn't be tested - she allowed the police to suspect her step-daughter of driving the car! Now she wants the public to believe she's been wronged by the court's decision! No, this manipulative bitch is exactly where she belongs - behind bars. She should serve every single day of her sentence.

Josie Madrid
Josie Madrid

Even if it was an accident, the anger is directed towards her being so heartless as to drive away after hitting this poor guy and not STOP.

Paul Tollefson
Paul Tollefson

She got too much time. The last time I killed a man with my car they gave me six months probation. Free Amy 2013.

jo1glex
jo1glex

This case has always bothered me.  Our judicial/penal system isn't appropriate to every situation.  It's like using a pipe wrench to turn a screw.  You could do it, I suppose, but how about a screwdriver?  What I mean is, the Amy Senser story is about alcoholism (chemical dependency) and how it leads people to live out delusions and, in this case, kill somebody.  

What's always been clear as a bell is that Mrs. Senser was drunk as a skunk when she hit and killed this guy with her car.  That's why she parked it in the garage and slept on the porch.  That's why her husband and family friends got her out of the state for a few days to clean out her system before they had their lawyer call the cops.  That's why she couldn't remember anything.  All the rest of her story made no sense at all, if you didn't realize she was hammered.  Anybody who has lived in the Twin Cities for any amount of time knows where they are on I-94.  You don't "miss" the Xcel Center and wind up on the Riverside/28th Ave. exit ramps.  Going up that ramp, you don't "not see" a person, and hit the person with the front of your car, and think you hit a cone or a barrel or a car or a raccoon or anything else.  Unless you're really, really wasted, that is.

Has Mrs. Senser been intensively treated for chemical dependency in Shakopee?  If not, all of this is a complete waste.  If she's going to be a guest at our expense for 3+ years, we deserve that she come out all cleaned up, and then spend the rest of her life trying to make things better for the Phanthavong family as well as her own.  In fact, better she should have pleaded guilty, checked herself in even before her trial, and used all the money she's used buying Eric Nelson a boat and a lake cabin and braces for his kids (or whatever he's spending his fees on) to help the families of the victims of her chemical addiction.  That would be the Phanthavongs and the Sensers, and probably others of whom we don't know.

Christine Sholl
Christine Sholl

"Classy" would have been reporting the accident in the first place and not trying to hide out for days.

Tracy Marcotte Shaffer
Tracy Marcotte Shaffer

Oh How kind of Amy to send flowers right before she files an appeal claiming there wasn't enough evidence to prove she saw the guy before she ran over him. How thoughtful of her. Just like it was thoughtful of her to wait a week to turn herself in so all drugs and alcohol were safely out of HER system. And how thoughtful of her and the lawyers to claim the accident was HIS fault because he had drugs in HIS system. That Amy, sure is thoughtful and kind - NOT

Heather Marie Strom
Heather Marie Strom

David used all sorts of grown-up words that really gave everyone a good summary of his intelligence. Kudos, Dave, you sound like an angry ten year old who just learned how to swear.

Guy Wright
Guy Wright

Nobody cares about this rich real housewife piece of trash

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

Well you sound like a very educated person. Funny that you accuse me of describing it "the way I saw it as it happened", but then you put your own spin on the situation as if you were actually there. That makes "allot" of sense. Moron.

David Crazydave Griego
David Crazydave Griego

biased crap reporting! I would think there is somekind of relationship betwixt you and that bitch or her husband, or his money!! choke yourself douchepar!

Rob Parkos
Rob Parkos

Have you ever killed anyone in a car accident nick? Not that I am defending anyone here or even saying its ok that she got the tattoo, but trust me it changes you!

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

Would the Pages and the local media still be covering this story bigtime were Amy Senser not a rich woman married to a minor local celebrity? Seems a dubious allocation of journalistic resources.

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

Pretty sick of all these "news" sources reporting this as a cold-blooded murder. She hit him on accident, and made the idiotic mistake of driving off. She didn't see him on the on-ramp, and flip out, and stomp on the gas pedal in his general direction.

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

WHAT!? Who gets a tattoo of a person they just killed? Oh.... this crazy lady does!

Sallyjos
Sallyjos


Flowers are "nice," but David Hanners' report in the Pioneer Press notes that one of those supposed judicial errors  was not allowing the defense to tell the jury about  the coke in the victim's system.  The refusal to change venue to rural Minnesota is also brought up (that's something of a slap in the face to people in Willmar, as if the news doesn't make it out here since electrification hit eighty years ago. . . ).   Small gestures aside, lot of the things  that inflamed public opinion against her are raised once again. Pretty hard to feel for her, sorry. As for her penance, perhaps she can spend her time reflecting on the word's shared root with
"penitentiary."

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@corellcleef  I'm not inbred, and I strongly resent the implication.  

No real problem with the rest of your comment, though.

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